Japanese Iris (JI)

Iris ensata

Mt. Pleasant Iris Farm is a National Display Garden for Japanese Iris.

Iris ensata have been selectively bred from wild forms found in northern Asia. Their cultural needs are very demanding, if met they will reward you with a magnificent display of color approximately 2-3 weeks after Tall Bearded bloom. Peak bloom in our garden is the last two weeks of June. Culture has a great influence; please refer to the culture page. Note: Grow as you would a productive summertime vegetable garden, with moist well-drained compost-rich soil that is slightly acidic (no lime or bone meal). 

Payne Award/Medal: The Payne Medal, named for W. Arlie Payne, is the highest award given by the American Iris Society that a Japanese iris can receive in its class. Payne Medal winners are then eligible to win the Dykes Medal, which is the highest award an iris can receive from The American Iris Society. 1992 and prior the highest award a Japanese Iris could receive was the Payne Award. This award has now been elevated to a medal status.   A brief of  W. Arlie Payne by Clarence Mahan.

​Mt Pleasant Iris Farm is pleased to offer many top award winners for your garden. Payne Award: PW​  Payne Medal: PM

Key to the descriptions
F = Falls Number of Petals, 3F single, 6F double, 9F12F peony form
E, M, L, V = Bloom Season, Early, Mid-Season, Late, and Very
At Mt Pleasant Iris Farm peak season is the last week of June going into the first week of July. VE varieties may start blooming in the first or second week of June. With VL varieties starting to bloom the first week of July. Each varietal clump when established should be in color with bloom for a minimum of two weeks.
36″, 40″  Height of the plant.
Bloom 3″, 10″  Approximate diameter of the bloom.
Buds 2-4  Number of buds to a stem.
The last three listed items Height, Bloom Size, and Number of Buds all are heavily dictated by the culture given. The same plant might be 30″​ or 40″ tall depending on the soil and water needs given.



JI Amethyst Actress clump

Amethyst Actress

Harris 2019

Soft amethyst fading to pale amethyst by day three 9F, M, 40″, Bloom 6″-8″, Buds 2-4

JI Amethyst's Sister Clump

Amethyst’s Sister

Harris 2012

Blends of mid-to-dark amethyst 9F, L, 52″, Bloom 6″-8″, Buds 3-6

JI Angelic ChoirJI Angelic Choir clump

Angelic Choir

Harris 2006

White self 6F, M, 42″, Bloom 6″-8″, Buds 3-6

JI Artesian Spring

JI Artesian Spring clump

Artesian Spring

Harris 2010

Dark purple, deep blue undertones 6F, ML, 48″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 3-4

JI Asian Festival

JI Asian Festival clump

Asian Festival

Harris 2002

Red-violet with blue-violet undertones F3, M, 54″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 5-7

JI Avalanche Express

Avalanche Express

Harris 2000

White self 9F, M, 44″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 2-3

JI Banjo Blues


Banjo Blues

Bauer/Coble 2005

White veined blue 6F, M, 34″, Bloom 6″-8″, Buds 3-5

JI Bewitching Twilight

Bewitching Twilight

Harris 2000

Light pastel blue 6+F, M, 41″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 2-4
PM 2013

JI Blushing Snowmaiden clump

Blushing Snowmaiden

Harris 2000

White lightly brushed rose-violet 9+F, M, 40″, Bloom 8″, Buds 3-4

JI Bushido clump


Harris 2020

Violet tones edged in white 3F, L, 38″, Bloom 7″-8″, Buds 2-4

JI Butterflies In Flight

Butterflies In Flight

Aitken 1991

Light blue veined darker 6F, L, 48″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 3-4
PM 1998

JI Caprican Butterfly

JI Caprician Butterfly clump

Caprician Butterfly

Marx by Rodgers 1985

White veined purple 6F, M, 36″, Bloom 7″-8″ Buds 5-6
PW 1990
PM 1994

JI Carol Johnson

JI Carol Johnson clump

Carol Johnson

McEwen by Whitney 2011

Pale blue veined darker, plum standards edged white 3F, ML, 32″, Bloom 8″, Buds 3-4

JI Cascade Crest

JI Cascade Crest clump

Cascade Crest

Aitken 1988

White ground sanded pale blue-violet 6F, M, 48″, Bloom 6″-8″, Buds 2-3
PM 1995

JI Cascade Rain

JI Cascade Rain clump

Cascade Rain

Harris 2008

White ground washed and freckled blue 3F, M, 40″, Bloom 7″-8″, Buds 3
PM 2019

JI Cascade Spice

JI Cascade Spice clump

Cascade Spice

Reid 1989

White ground freckled blue-violet, banded red-violet 6F, ML, 42″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 3-5

JI Celestial Emperor

Celestial Emperor

Harris 2011

Silver ground red-violet band and veins. Blue halo surrounding yellow signals 6F, ML, 38″, Bloom 9″-10″, Buds 2-3

JI Coho

JI Coho clump


Harris 2005

Pink self 3F, VE, 38″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 5-7
PM 2012

JI Columbia Crest

JI Columbia Crest clump

Columbia Crest

Harris 2015

Royal purple with a deep blue undertone 6F, L, 50″, Bloom 7″-8″, Buds 3-5

JI Columbia Deep Water

JI Columbia Deep Water clump

Columbia Deep Water

Harris 2013

Dark blends of blue and red violets, faint neon blue rays 6F, ML, 48″, Bloom 7″-8″, Buds 4-6
PM 2021

JI Dalle Whitewater

JI Dalle Whitewater clump

Dalle Whitewater

Harris 2011

White ground sanded mid-blue-violet 6F, L, 48″, Bloom 7″-8″, Buds 3-5
PM 2021

JI Dancing Waves

JI Dancing Waves

Dancing Waves

Payne 1964

Blends of dark violet to purple, sharp white edge 6F, ML, 42″, Bloom 9″-10″, Buds 2
PA 1968

JI Dirigo Devil

JI Dirigo Devil clump

Dirigo Devil

White 1992

Mid Red-violet splashed lighter 6F, L, 44″, Bloom 5″-6″, Buds 3-5

JI Dragon Tapestry

JI Dragon Tapestry clump

Dragon Tapestry

Harris 2012

Dark wine red splashed with white 6F, M, 36″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 3-5

JI Electric Rays

JI Electric Rays clump

Electric Rays

Aitken 1990

Dark violet, distinctive neon blue rays 6F, M, 50″, Bloom 7″-8″, Buds 2
PM 1997

JI Embossed

JI Embossed clump


Marx 1956

Light violet, darker halo and veins 6F, M, 45″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 3

JI Evelyn White

JI Evelyn White clump

Evelyn White

White 2008

White red-violet edge 6F, M, 40″, Bloom 6″-7″
Buds 3-4

JI Flamingo Waltz

JI Flamingo Waltz clump

Flamingo Waltz

Harris 2014

Pink self 6F, M, 36″, Bloom 7″-8″, Buds 3-5
PM 2022

JI Freckled Peacock

Freckled Peacock


White freckled red-violet 3F, M, 54″, Bloom 7″-8″, buds 5-7

JI Frosted Intrigue

JI Frosted Intrigue clump

Frosted Intrigue

Bauer/Coble 1997

Blends of dark blue and red-violet 6F, M, 36″, Bloom 6″-7″, Buds 4-5
Geishunka Mitsuda Reg. by SJI 1995 Sold Out
Gosan no takara Unknown <1940, Reg.1992 Sold Out
Gyokuhōren Gyokuhōren Unknown <1887, Reg. 1939 Sold Out
Hirao 1976 Sold Out
Honour McEwen 2001 Sold Out

PM 2019
Bauer/Coble 2011 Sold Out
Harris 2010 Sold Out
Payne 1969 Sold Out
Knip Won Knip Won Copeland 2017 Sold Out
Koto Harp
Harris 2016 Sold Out
Kumoishō Kumoishō Unknown <1887, Reg. 1939 Sold Out
Kyomai Kyomai Mitsuda <1985, Reg.1993 sold Out
PM 2011
Bauer/Coble 2004 Sold Out

PM 2003
Bauer/Coble 1996 Sold Out
Little Bow

PM 2009
Delmez 1998 Sold Out
McEwen by Whitney 2009 Sold Out
JI Mulberry Halos. Mulberry
Harris 2019 Sold Out
McEwen by Whitney 2008 Sold Out
Aitken 1996 Sold Out
Niji No Tomoe Niji no tomoe pbly Matsudaira Shōō <1856, Reg. 1994 Sold Out
Nishikiori Shimizu 1997 Sold Out
Nobori ryu Nobori ryu Matsudaira Shōō <1856, Reg.1994 Sold Out
McEwen 1987 Sold Out
McEwen 1988 Sold out

PM 2001
Reid 1992 Sold Out
Harris 2018 Sold Out
Harris 1996 Sold Out
Harris 1998 Sold Out
Renjō No Tara Renjō no tama Matsudaira Shōō <1856, Reg. 1992 Sold Out
Reid 1989 Sold Out
Sakuragawa Sakuragawa pbly Matsudaira Shōō <1856, Reg. 1938 Sold Out
Sanded Treasure Harris 2020 Sold Out
Hirao 1992 Sold Out
Bauer/Coble 1996 Sold Out
Silverband Bauer/Coble 1989 Sold Out
JI Simple Grace. Simple
Harris 2019 Sold Out
Rettig 1995 Sold Out

PM 2015
Bauer/Coble 2008 Sold Out
Marx 1955 Sold Out
Harris 2007 Sold Out
Tatsutagawa Tatsutagawa Matsudaira Shōō <1856, Reg. 1994 Sold Out
Thoroughbred McEwen 1999 Sold Out
Tsuru No Kegoromo Tsuru No Kegoromo Matsudaira Shōō <1856, Reg. 1939 Sold Out
PA 1978
Rich 1974 Sold Out
JI Warai Hotei Warai hotei Kotakaen <1910 Sold Out
Yamataikoku Yamataikoku Kamo 1979 Sold Out
Yuzen Ichie 1994 Sold Out
Zama No Mori Zama No Mori Musashien 1863, Reg. 1939 Sold Out